Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Eon

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Eon

Dragoneye Reborn

by Alison Goodman

Eon by Alison Goodman X
Eon by Alison Goodman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2008, 544 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2010, 560 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Beth Hemke Shapiro

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

The Chinese Zodiac
Author Alison Goodman models her concept of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune after the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Falling in an established order within the cycle, the animals, according to legend, once bickered over who would head the cycle of years. The gods held a contest to see which animal would first reach the opposite side of the river; that animal would lead the cycle. Although the ox was winning, the rat had ridden across on its back and jumped onto the bank first. The pig swam lazily, lost the race, and consequently fell to last in the twelve-year cycle.

In the Chinese zodiac these animals appear on a circular chart, representing the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese lunar calendar, as opposed to the linear concept of time found on the Western solar calendar. This lunar calendar stems from ancient astronomy as well as a 5,000-year-old Chinese astrological tradition.

Although Chinese people have followed the Western calendar since 1911 (since the fall of the Qing Dynasty), festive celebrations such as the Chinese New Year still follow the lunar calendar. In this calendar the beginning of the year occurs sometime between late January and early February. Modern Chinese calendars often print both solar and lunar dates.

One interesting tidbit about the lunar calendar is that the animal signs allow for a polite way to compute a person's age. Instead of asking someone how old they are, a Chinese person might ask them what their sign is; if the age can already be narrowed down to a twelve-year span, the animal sign will then determine the exact birth year.

In addition to showing birth-year animals, the Chinese zodiac also reflects "inner" and "secret" animals which correspond to birth month and birth hour respectively. Other Chinese traditions, such as Feng Shui (which translates literally as wind-water, pronounced fung-shway), interact with the Chinese zodiac, as do the five traditional Chinese elements: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. The 12 birth-year, or "outer" animals combine with the 12 inner animals, 12 secret animals, and 5 elements to create over 8000 personality combinations.

Discover your Chinese Zodiac animal

This article was originally published in February 2009, and has been updated for the August 2010 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.